Intersessional interactive dialogue on ways to enhance the participation of indigenous peoples’ representatives and institutions in meetings of the Human Rights Council on issues affecting them

Human Rights Council
Intersessional interactive dialogue on ways to enhance the participation of indigenous peoples’ representatives and institutions in meetings of the Human Rights Council on issues affecting them

Statement by: Binota Moy Dhamai, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

15 July 2019

Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

Asia indigenous peoples’ representatives discussed on ways to enhance the participation of indigenous peoples in the Human Rights Council during the regional preparatory meeting held in Sabah, Malaysia in March 2019. We would like to share our views on the matter.

Indigenous peoples organizations are not non-governmental organizations. Thus, it is inappropriate to apply accreditation as NGOs for their participation to the Human Rights Council. Instead, we recommend for the Human Rights Council to apply the current practices for accreditation of indigenous peoples organizations to the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Further, Indigenous peoples organizations should have separate seating and are provided the opportunity to speak and submit and distribute written statements during sessions of the Human Rights Council.

Likewise, Indigenous Peoples’ representative institutions should be allowed to make oral statements and submit written statements on the issues of indigenous peoples. We trust that this common minimum position of indigenous peoples in Asia provides for effective participation of indigenous peoples in the Human Rights Council.

Your Excellency, AIPP also reiterates its position regarding the selection of members to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Since 2001, the Asia region has been nominating its selected representative to the UN Permanent Forum based on principles of transparency, accountability and inclusiveness of indigenous peoples. However, we feel that our self-selection process is now being undermined. The pattern of appointment of indigenous experts from the Asia region to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues by the President of the ECOSOC is highly disturbing. It undermines our democratic self-selection process and goes against the spirit of enhanced participation of indigenous peoples in the UN.

With this, we urge the Human Rights Council to open up more spaces for indigenous peoples’ representatives and institutions to participate in its sessions and to discuss on issues affecting them in line with the UNDRIP.

Thank you!

Click here to download full statement.

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